Mulling over a request to support a county-wide transport and participate in a regional transportation authority that will bring with it a tax on residents, Saline City Council heard a presentation on what the plan might mean for local residents.
At Monday’s meeting, Ann Arbor Transpiration Authority representative Sarah Pressprich Gryniewicz highlighted what the plan offers Saline, if it is implemented over the next five years.
Pressprich Gryniewicz outlined the new services Saline will see implemented over the next five years, including:
- Express Ride – Commuting hour trips from Saline to Ann Arbor. Trips would be every 30 minutes, with seven morning trips and 8 evening trips. The AATA estimates 41,000 annual trips.
- Dial-a-Ride – Small bus, van or taxi pick-ups and rides for seniors and people with disabilities. Dial-a-ride plus would pick up other residents from their homes and transport them to main bus stops.
- Community Connectors -- Saline would be connected to Ann Arbor. These services may deviate from their route to pick up and drop off passengers. Would run every two hours, Monday for four hours, from Monday through Saturday. The AATA estimates 10,000 annual trips.
- Community Circulator – Smaller bus service travelling within Saline. The circulator would run every hour, four hours a day, from Monday through Saturday. The AATA estimates 12,000 trips annually.
The Saline community circulator would stop at State Street Crossing, Commons of Sauk Trail, Saline Shopping Center, the Saline municipal building, Downtown, St. Joseph Mercy Saline Hospital, Saline Middle School, the Saline Rec Center and Saline High School.
Pressprich Gryniewicz said cited several reasons for proceeding with a plan now.
“The senior population in Saline is projected to double over the next 10 to 25 years,” Pressprich Gryniewicz said. “Young professionals are looking to have one car, or maybe no cars. And families trying to save money for college are looking at the cost of a car, which costs $10,000 a year. That’s a big difference for a family.”
Pressprich Gryniewicz said public transit can help people get to their jobs, medical appointments and to senior facilities.
In October, Saline City Council and other Washtenaw County communities must decide if they will support and participate in a new transportation authority that will oversee improvements to the transit network.
The cities of Saline and Milan and the townships of York, Saline and Lodi are part of the “south central” district. Each local government is being asked to participate in the new authority. As soon as May of 2013, residents of the participating communities will vote on a .584 mill tax to fund improvements to the system. The owner of a $200,000 home would pay about $58 in taxes annually to support the plan. If the majority of voters in the region vote to approve the millage, taxpayers in all of the participating communities will incur the tax, according to Pressprich Gryniewicz.
So far, Saline Township has declined to participate.
Council member Linda TerHaar, who has attended several transportation planning meetings, said she encouraged residents to take a look at the five-year plan and to contact her with feedback. (The plan can be downloaded here).
Mayor Gretchen Driskell thanked Pressprich Gryniewicz for the report.